The following script was originally created for a day camp held for middle school aged students. Using Jaques’ speech in As You Like It as the foundation for the script, the piece explores the various stages that people may walk through during a lifetime.
Each section explores either concepts in the monologue or specific scenes from one of Shakespeare’s plays. Mixing the serious with the silly, students explore the humanity of Shakespeare’s characters, and get an introduction to some of his most famous plays.
The original production used limited costumes and props, focusing on the students’ acting and allowing each actor to play multiple roles. The flexibility of the script allows for a range in the number of students needed to do the piece, though six or seven is an ideal group to start with.
All the language is taken directly from Shakespeare's scripts and kept in the original format and only edited for meaning.
The CHORUS characters are used to help transition the performance through each act and introduce themes and ideas explored in each of the scenes. Their presence is similar to that of the Greek Chorus, used in ancient Greek plays, to help guide the audience throughout the performance.
Lasting about 15-20 minutes, depending on the number of students, the pacing is quick and provides a starting conversation for students to further explore Shakespeare’s work as well as introducing them to working as an ensemble.
LIST of PLAYS
INTRODUCTION - As You Like It, Act 2 Scene 7
ACT 1 INFANT - Romeo and Juliet, Act 1 Scene 3
ACT 2 STUDENT - School Students
ACT 3 YOUNG LOVE - As You Like It, Act 3 Scene 5
ACT 4 SOLDIER - Romeo and Juliet, Act 1 Scene 1 & A MidsummerNight’sDream, Act3 Scene2
ACT 5 THE JUSTICE - Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 3
ACT 6 OLD AGE - King Lear, Act 2 Scene 4
ACT 7 LIFE’s FINAL DAYS - Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2 EPILOGUE - As You Like It, Act 5 Scene 4